Case No.: 2008CT035885A, Palm Beach County, Judge P. Evans, April 14, 2010
Allegations: DUI. My client was accused by Officer Mayernik of the Jupiter Police Department of running a stop sign, failing to maintain a single lane, and driving under the influence of alcohol to the extent that her normal faculties were impaired. He wrote a report in which he said my client admitted drinking, smelled of the odor of alcohol, had bloodshot and glassy eyes, slurred speech, and performed poorly on the field sobriety tests.
Tools: Jury Trial. There were two videos shown to the jury. One was taken at the roadside and the other at the breath alcohol testing facility. Neither video evidenced slurred speech. The video shot on the street was of relatively poor quality compared to the one shot at the breath alcohol testing facility. What was clear on the first tape was that my client did not perform well on the roadside tests, but was clearly embarrassed and distracted by the fact that the investigation was taking place in her neighborhood and her neighbors were walking by. The video shot at the testing facility showed my client looking tired and annoyed, but there was no evidence of any physical or mental impairment at all. My client testified that she had consumed approximately 2 and a half beers at dinner around 9:00, but went home and went to bed. Later that evening, a friend she had left behind at dinner was at her door asking for a ride home. She awoke from a deep sleep and was in the process of driving her friend home when she rolled through the stop sign on a residential street empty of any traffic. Officer Mayernik was sitting in his patrol car with his video camera on and shooting that particular intersection when my client rolled through the stop sign. Thankfully, this department uses video tape. Without it, the jury would have only the word of the officer as proof of impairment. The video showed her as she was. The jury was out deliberating for about an hour before coming back with a NOT GUILTY verdict.